Days Like This

2 May

I can’t think of anything to add to the conversation we’re all having (externally or internally) about the recent turn of international events. Mostly I feel uneasy, though I of course can’t deny the relief, hope or closure others are feeling. I know only my own experience and my own self.

I think the only thing we can do on nights (or I suppose mornings) like this is to accept that the world is a messy place that never, despite our most earnest feelings to the contrary, resolves in the way we expect. Let us remember this today, and especially in coming days when our patience inevitably grows thin, our way less clear, our collective feelings more stratified. Let us remember that complexity is not a vice.

Also, let’s quote writers more eloquent than ourselves.

“In uncertainty I am certain that underneath their topmost layers of frailty men want to be good and want to be loved. Indeed, most of their vices are attempted short cuts to love. When a man comes to die, no matter what his talents and influence and genius, if he dies unloved his life must be a failure to him and his dying a cold horror. It seems to me that if you or I must choose between two courses of thought or action, we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.

“We have only one story. All novels all poetry, are built on the never-ending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue, is immortal. Vice has always a new fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is.”

– John Steinbeck, East of Eden


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